In 1997 I worked at Lift Gym, a personal training gym on 57th Street in Manhattan. While there, I heard about a place called The Pilates Studio. At the time, only people who had been trained and certified at the original Pilates School were allowed to use the name Pilates – sort of like Bikram now. This particular studio was run by Clara Pilates (Joseph Pilates’ widow) and then Romana Kryzanowsky – who studied under them. It all seemed very cult like and while I thought the exercises were great, I couldn’t bring myself to go. In 2000 they tried and failed to trademark the Pilates name. This naturally resulted in many variants of the method.
Fast forward to 2005 when I joined New York Sports Club. As part of the sign-up package, you were allowed to take one Pilates Reformer class. I LOVED IT! I am super flexible but this stretched me further than I have ever gone before. I hate weight machines but this had me lifting my OWN body weight. After class I felt long and strong and was totally ready to go a million times a week until I learned that the classes were $20 a pop on top of the monthly fee. Never mind. And the mat pilates was a complete waste of time.
ClassPass breathed new life in to my search for a Pilates class that I could love. And I thought I had hit the jackpot when I went to Flex Studios. The class wasn’t as good as the one I took at NYSC but it was challenging and the studio was convenient and welcoming. Maybe I caught them when they first joined ClassPass because I can not for the life of me find available classes anymore and, once again, they are expensive to buy on their own.
Last month Pilates on the Square joined ClassPass so I signed up for their Pilates Machine Class. The studio itself is poorly laid out but I could have overlooked that had the teacher not lulled me in to some sort of strange moving coma that I would rather not experience again. They do have a Pilates Intense Machine class that claims to be more difficult but I just don’t have it in me to potentially waste another hour of my life when I could be at FlyBarre or Y7 Yoga!
This morning I was supposed to go to an aerial pilates class at Studio Anya but I had to cancel. However, I did make it to an aerial barre class which was great so maybe I will give their pilates class a chance. All that said, I still want to find an old-school reformer class.
Suggestions? Am I just romanticizing pilates? Can it ever be what I imagine it should? Ironically, they now offer Pilates at Lift Gym – maybe I should go back! Or bite the bullet and go to SLT. $$$$$